Carrick Wealth, one of southern Africa’s leading private investment advisory firms, has embarked on a three-year partnership with Schools’ Water Polo South Africa to support the annual inter-provincial tournament as well as establish a fund to assist with the sustainability of the sport.

‘Water polo is a unique school sport in that boys and girls participate as equals: a sport that takes place in a tough and uncompromising environment – water – but where dedication, commitment, discipline and professional management can bring success. These are values that Carrick Wealth identify with, because it’s what we bring to our clients,’ says Director Kieron McRae.

‘Water polo is largely a Cinderella sport, South African scholar teams regularly perform alongside their international peers – the last time the Australian U18 national team were in this country they were trounced 5-0 by SA. Yet the sport enjoys little in the way of exposure outside of the playing community. We hope to change that; our support of the annual inter-provincial tournament will raise the profile of the largest age-group water polo event in the southern hemisphere, and our water polo fund will assist in growing the game to prospects outside of the traditional schools.’

This year’s inter-provincial tournament will see about 2 000 players, coaches and referees participate at U13, U14, U15, U16 and U19 – boys and girls – over a five-day extravaganza in Port Elizabeth from 8 to 12 December.

‘Çarrick Wealth’s support will be an important catalyst to grow the sport throughout the country,’ says Schools’ Water Polo South Africa Chairman Richard Irvine. ‘Many of our schools do not have the luxury of polo-ready swimming pools and so we have to be more creative in how we grow the numbers of players. In Gauteng we bring players to schools that have pools, in Western Province they have started initiatives at municipal indoor pools. Water polo is a great sport for boys and girls alike; it equips the person with a basic life skill – swimming, the chance of injury is almost non-existent, it’s as competitive as any other team sport out there and players can continue for years after school.’

McRae concludes: ‘We know what it takes to “make the team”, it’s an honour and a triumph. We understand this because it’s the principle of our own ethic of sustainable philanthropy. Our long-term aim is to make a sustainable financial difference to this wonderful sport. We’ll be posting more information on how you, as a schools’ water polo parent and supporter, can also assist. Together we can make a real difference.’